Last year I coached a non-profit healthcare CFO, Heather * whose Board of Directors had tapped to become the next CEO. Her core values centered on integrity, dedication, responsibility, competition, contribution, learning, authenticity and nature. There were several vacancies on the senior leadership and mid-level management team that needed to be filled. She scouted for the right fit people who would take the organization to the next level. She drove her staff to work hard, improve performance and serve their clients. She arranged for leadership development sessions to enable her leaders to provide the best results possible for the organization, their clients and employees. To burn off stress she hiked and ran. The decisions she made clearly reflected her core values. Her leaders thrived.

How clear are you on what you truly value? There are a variety of coaching exercises to examine your values. One of my favorites is the Road to Resilience Values Deck, available from Amazon.com at goo.gl/izjhh6.

I’ve had the privilege of working with many organizations to create their core values. It’s essential for personal and career happiness that your core personal and work values are in alignment with your organization’s values. For example, if your organization values compassion and your top value is productivity, you may feel frustrated with decisions that care for employees or patients over profit or margin.

What happens when you are not living your values?

We often hear about people trying to be someone they are not, trying to fit in. If that forces you to go against your values you may not like the person you become. It can feel like selling a piece of your soul.

Years ago, I was working for a defense contractor in supply chain. We were notified there was an upcoming government compliance audit and were preparing. My boss asked me to go through stacks of documents to backdate and “tweak” them so we wouldn’t adversely affected in the audit. This went against my core values of integrity, honesty and authenticity and I refused. It may have hurt my career in that department, yet shortly after I received a promotion to another department. I pondered whether I could live with knowingly taking an action that is in violation of federal law and compromising my core values. Large scandals start with small decisions and compound over time. How could others trust me? How could I trust myself to make future decisions if my values are easily compromised? Your actions speak louder than your words, are they congruent with your core values?

Haven’t spent much time in self reflection? Not sure what your next career step will be or how to get there? Coaching is a great way to discover what you really want and then create a plan to achieve it. As a holiday gift, Rising Stars will offer a 30 minute complimentary coaching session to give you a taste of how to live your best life, personally and/or professionally, to schedule email Joanne@RisingStarsLLC.com

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